Encourage Nature into your Garden
Maintaining a healthy and beautiful garden may come easy to some of us and perhaps prove more difficult for others, but one thing we should all look to do is encourage a bit more nature into our gardens; biodiversity can go a long way, so get your gloves on, enlist any helpers and transform your outdoor space into a habitat for garden visitors.
Bees – Bees of all varieties are such an integral part of this world and they need our help. Bees pollinate our flowers and create delicious honey, but their population is dwindling with 20 known species that have become extinct. The main problem is the destruction of their natural habitats such as wildflower meadows which have seen a 97% decrease in the last 60 years; an astonishing figure, but that’s where you come in. Try planting some wildflower seeds and some lavender to attract them. and if you have space, build a bee hotel buy using cardboard tubes and drilling holes in logs. At the moment there is the Great British Bee Count to aid in the conservation of our busy little friends so it’s down to you to help out as a larger picture of our bee population is desperately needed.
Butterflies & Insects – Not all insects are welcome in our gardens but for many birds they are a main food source. Who doesn’t want a beautiful array of birds in their garden? Exactly the same as bees, insects will be attracted to flowers so more pollinating flowers leads to more insects and to more birds. Plus, butterflies are an undeniable treat for those lazy days sat in your garden.
Hedgehogs – These snuffly little creatures are out and about but what attracts them into our gardens? Well, insects for one and if you’ve plenty of beetle bait like the above mentioned tips then that’s a step in the right direction. The big reason you want the hedgepig to pay you a visit though are those big slimy slugs! We hate them but they love them. It’s not all about the food though; resourceful as they are, a simple problem such as having access is all that will stop them. What you can do is maybe cut a small hole in the bottom of your fence or replace with a shrub or two so they can wander in any time they like. Also, if you’re looking to encourage them to hibernate then perhaps you could create a wild patch where you can have a compost heap or pile of logs for them to get busy with.
Birds – So, you’ve sorted the insect eating birds with some tasty treats and it’s now time to pay attention to the seed eaters. Most of you probably have a bird feeder but do you know how best to maintain it and what food to supply? As your feeder or bird bath gains more traffic the more it needs to be cleaned as diseases can spread through droppings and mouldy food. Also, any water container needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, especially in the warmer months. Now, when choosing the food you’re going to put out, the only thing you want to watch out for are cheaper bird mixes with dried peas, rice, lentils and dog biscuits. These are really only suitable for larger birds and used mainly to bulk out the mix. Another thing you can do if you have a larger garden is to have some varied feeding stations to attract different birds; one with live meal worms may attract species like robins and blue tits, whereas a feeder with small seeds and millet would welcome finches and sparrows. Of course, another thing you could do is have a bird house or two to help the birdies a little more. There are some wonderful designs out there and you could even have fun making one of your own, which is always a lovely feature in any garden.
Pond life – Creating a pond, no matter how large or small will inevitably bring different species into your garden. Autumn/winter is probably the best time to begin construction on your pond but the ideal time to plant is mid spring/early summer. Expect to attract lots of insects like dragonflies, damselflies and pond skaters alongside amphibians of course like the toad, frog and newt. There is a lot you can do with a pond creatively so they naturally make fantastic features in any garden, as well as creating a breeding ground for wildlife. Make sure though, that you create some sort of slope or ramp because many creatures can easily get in the water but cannot get out. Even a frog can drown.
What better way to make your garden even more beautiful. Hope you all enjoyed reading from Monty and the team at gardens2you x